Heavy Haul Locomotives and Their Design

Authored by: Maksym Spiryagin , Peter Wolfs , Colin Cole , Valentyn Spiryagin , Yan Quan Sun , Tim McSweeney

Design and Simulation of Heavy Haul Locomotives and Trains

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498733526
eBook ISBN: 9781315369792
Adobe ISBN:


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The transport of cargo with the application of powered propulsion systems on a railway was implemented in 1814 by the British inventor George Stephenson, when he built the first practical freight locomotive (then called a ‘travelling engine’) for hauling coal at the Killingworth Colliery. This locomotive, named Blücher, was a traction vehicle with flanged wheels and equipped with a steam engine that was able to haul a load of 30 tonnes, comprising eight wagons loaded with coal, up to a gradient of 1 in 450 at a speed of 6.4 km/h relying only on adhesion between rails and wheels. Figure 2.1 shows an improved version of that first freight locomotive; the sketch is believed to have been drawn by George Stevenson circa 1815. The success achieved by Stephenson’s first series of locomotives provided the stimulus for the further development of rail freight traffic. For more than 150 years, steam locomotives were the main means of traction on the railways for the transportation of goods and freight, and in the mid-twentieth century, they were gradually replaced by diesel and electric powered locomotives that evolved into the modern machines now working on the railways throughout the world.

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